*So, y’all remember when we posted the Blind Item about tainted alcohol possibly being responsible for the deaths of American tourists in the Dominican Republic? In case you missed it – read here.
As it turns out, the FBI is investigating the possibility of “fake” alcohol being served in resorts on the island, and the news comes after officials in Costa Rica issued a national alert after 19 people died from alcohol that was reportedly laced with methanol, a substance often found in antifreeze, per BET.com.
The outlet notes that “vendors who continue to sell Guaro Montano, Guaro Gran Apache, Aguardiente Estrella, Aguardiente Barón Rojo, Aguardiente Timbuka and Molotov Aguardiente could face criminal charges.”
CNN reports 30,000 bottles from varying brands were confiscated after samples tested positive for methanol. Health experts are now wondering if tainted alcohol is behind the string of tourist deaths in the DR.
U.S. investigators also suspect numerous alcohol supplies have been tampered with, so authorities have been granted permission to review the victims’ toxicology reports.
Meanwhile, as noted by Fox Business, the alcohol-related deaths of American tourists in the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica’s have raised safety concerns among vacationers.
“We are a model for global tourism,” the country’s tourism board told reporters last month. “Here we are talking about nine people, but there are countries in the area where 10 times the number of Americans have died there. But all eyes are on us.”
At least 13 Americans have died in the DR under suspicious circumstances since June 2018 — and several tourists claim they were poisoned or attacked in the country.
“We have no higher priority than the safety and welfare of U.S. citizens abroad,” Ambassador to the Dominican Republic Robin Bernstein said in a written statement to the Palm Beach Daily News. “We continue to work actively with the Dominican authorities at the very highest levels to ensure that U.S. citizens are safe while in the Dominican Republic.”